EMERGENCY 999 telephone calls to Lancashire police are going to another county because of a telecommunications mast network which can delay response times, West Craven councillors fear.

Some people in West Craven are being connected to emergency 999 call-handlers in North Yorkshire – and the situation has existed for around 20 years, councillors understand.

Now, they hope to raise the 999 telephone network with the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner.

The issues were raised at a meeting of Pendle Council’s West Craven Area Committee in Earby, in a police update with PC Gareth Ingham, whose beat includes Barnoldswick and Earby.

Councillor Tom Whipp said: “Residents have been raising concerns about 999 calls being directed to North Yorkshire. A mast is said to be sending calls to North Yorkshire, which has caused issues with delays. I understand 999 calls could not be transferred to Lancashire. They had to pass the information on. By the time Lancashire got back, things had moved on.  Are the police aware? Is there any data about it? Only the phone companies can fix the situation, I guess?"

PC Ingham said: “Ever since I have worked the police, which is 17 years, it has been a problem. The issue is due to mast positions. But I don’t know the details, to be honest. But I can look into it and see if I can get some data.”

Cllr David Whipp said: “I used to be on the police authority for ten years. One of the areas I led on was communications in the 1990s and 2000s. The issue with cross-border calls was picked-up in the 2000s.

“I’m now on the Lancashire Police and Crime Panel which oversees the crime commissioner, who scrutinises the chief constable. I can get this raised with the commissioner.

“Can I also suggest the West Craven Area Committee logs it as an issue and pursues it with Pendle Council too?”

This was agreed by councillors.

In the latest crime figures update, Lancashire Constabulary’s recorded incidents for October were compared with October 2022. For the Craven, Coates and Earby area, there was a total of 57 recorded crimes in October 2023.  This was down by 27 on the total of 84 for October 2022.

One business premises burglary was reported in October 2023 but no home burglaries. There were 32 assaults compared with 38 in October 2022, ten criminal damage cases, three thefts and one vehicle crime.

Cllr David Whipp understood the Barnoldswick Co-op shop had been targeted recently. He hoped there would not be a rise in Barnoldswick shop burglaries after a spate of incidents a few months ago.

PC Ingham said: “Police will be in Barnoldswick town centre on December 15, giving out winter crime prevention advice. The public can meet us in the town square.”

Anti-social behaviour by young people at night has been a problem at times in West Craven area over the past year or so, according to councillors and police. However, a range of work is under-way to tackle the issues and provide activities for youngsters, the area committee heard.